Kothagiri is perched at an altitude of 6,503 ft, located just 16 km from Ooty in Tamil Nadu state, India. It is one of the oldest hill stations in the Nilgiri hills of southern India. This pretty hill station is sheltered from south west monsoon by the Doddabetta range. Lush green tea estates and thick dense shola forests surround this hilly region.
History:Kothagiri doesn’t have significant written history. However, this place is the traditional home for Tribes named “Kothas”. “Kotha – Giri” means “Mountain of the Kothas”. These tribes excell in pottery making and terracotta baking. The first European settler in this hill station was the Collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan. He built a bungalow in this area in 1819.
In late 18th century, many Englishmen started visiting Kothagiri. The pleasant climate which prevails here made them feel at home. So a sanatorium was built in Ooty near Kothagiri.
Before road transport was introduced, one had to take the horse trail through Kothagiri to reach Ooty. An Englishmen, M.D Cockburn started the first coffee estate at this location in the year 1843. Later in 1863, his daughter established the first tea estate of the region.
Tourists should travel 16 km from Kothagiri to reach this point. From this location, tourists can have a spectacular view of lush green paddy fields, tea estates and the Mysore plateau.
This is also a major attraction here. It is located below the Uyilatti Village, seven km away from Kothagiri. During monsoon its volume will be at it’s fullest. Here tourists can have a panoramic view of Kookal valley and Orange orchards. This is the ideal place to bathe and relax, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Trekkers can trek through Badaga habitations near these falls. Also while reaching the falls, tourists can spot the first bungalow built by John Sullivan in 1819 in the Kannerimukku village.
St. Catherine Waterfalls:
This is easily accessible by traveling just eight km down the Kothagiri – Mettupalayam route. This double cascade falling from 250 ft height offers a spectacular view of the surroundings amidst its roar.
Koala View Point:
Tourists should travel 16 km east of Kothagiri to reach this view point. From the watch tower here, travelers can have a picturesque view of the Nilgiri hills, Moyar river and Rangaswamy peak and pillar.
This reserve is located ten km from Kothagiri. Tourists should get prior permission from Forest Range Officer of Kattabettu to reach this reserve.
Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar:
This is located 20 km from Kothagiri. The tribe named Irulas, have inhabited this area. This place has a 400 m high rock raising abruptly from the ground. So climbers and trekkers can have good time here.
Long Wood Reserve:
This is just three km away from this hilly region. Pleasant climate and virgin green forest make this place a haven for trekkers.
The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (105 km). Coonoor is the nearest railhead for this region. The region is also well connected by road transport.